If you’re like me (cheap), you look for the free apps in the iTunes App Store over anything else! For example, if there’s an app listed that actually costs money, you in turn look for the “lite” version. However, a lot of great paid apps are overlooked because it’s not clear if they’re worth the price (no matter how small).
So, for all you frugal fannies out there, here’s a list of my Top 10 Paid Apps for the iPhone and iPod touch.
1) Twittelator Pro – $4.99
There are a ton of Twitter apps out there, and it’s tough to determine which is the best. Tweetie has gotten a lot of praise lately—with Mac gurus and celebs alike singing its praises—and admittedly it’s a great one, though my top Twitter app for iPhone is Twittelator Pro. (The desktop version of Tweetie is a different story and it’s my choice for my Mac, hands down.)
Twittelator Pro has a great user interface (UI from here on out) with a few different themes from which to choose, and is chock-full of features. It offers multi-account access, automatic link-shrinking (a MUST for a mobile Twitter app), landscape composition, copy and paste within the application and a “send links from Safari” feature, to name a few. All-in-all, it’s been the best mobile Twitter experience for me so far.
Additional note: I appreciate being able to try an app before I buy, and there’s currently no “lite” (free) version of Tweetie for those who want to do the same. However, Tweetie is slightly less expensive at $2.99.
2) MLB.com At Bat – $9.99
One word: Orioles. Three words: Orioles in Vermont. OK, OK… I realize that most of you out there don’t care about the Orioles, but here’s the part that’s great: with MLB At Bat, I can listen to Orioles in New England (in Red Sox Country). Plus, I don’t have cable TV (by choice, though the only things I seriously miss are baseball games and the Olympics), so it’s nice to be able to listen to the games on my iPhone instead. It’s also nice that the $9.99 price for the iTunes version is $5 less than the version on the MLB website.
3) Feeds – $2.99
I’m not a huge RSS person, but I became convinced that Feeds is a great app after trying it at my husband’s suggestion. There are countless free RSS readers out there, and generally they’re fine, but also painfully limited. If you have numerous RSS feeds that you follow, definitely give Feeds a try.
For one, it’s fully integrated with Google Reader, which is a popular web-based aggregator (just a fancy word for colletor and distributor) of RSS feeds. It also offers the capability to: email a feed link within the application, read feeds offline, use landscape mode, categorize your feeds and mark items for later.
Only con that I’ve found? I hate the icon… (oh, well!)
I had been using Pro RSS (also a paid app at $1.99) which does most of the above, but the UI is not as slick; it also had some initial stability issues. A recent update may have alleviated those, though I haven’t tested it yet.
4) Bento – $4.99
This is a recent favorite as well. Just announced in the App Store on May 1, Bento brings the awesome OS X app for organization and data management to your iPhone. FileMaker introduced Bento to tackle personal organization, so it’s basically FileMaker for the average person: from your expenses to your wine collection, you can manage most anything.
Bento has the advantage of being an Apple app and all that it entails right out of the gate. I’m a big fan of Mac/iPhone app integration, and that’s one of the first things I look for in a new app for my Mac… “Well, this is cool, but does it work with the iPhone?” Now, I can take all of my stuff mobile (scary as that is!).
With the Bento mobile app, one can “view libraries and collections, create new records, edit details, sort data, modify forms [and] even use the iTunes-style search to find information quickly when on the go.” It integrates natively with Safari, Address Book, Mail and Maps, and I anticipate that it will become even more powerful when iPhone 3.0 software debuts this summer (hello, copy and paste!).
5) Air Sharing – $4.99
Air Sharing is a really cool app that gets a lot of love. Among the praise: “Most Useful App” (2008 Best App Ever Awards), “Editor’s Choice” (PC Magazine), “App of the Week” (Apple), “Editor’s Pick, 10/10” (AppCraver), as well as kudos from Gizmodo, The Chicago Tribune and others.
Air Sharing makes dragging and dropping possible between your computer and iPhone/iPod touch by allowing your mobile device to mount as a wireless hard drive. It supports a vast array of file types, including Microsoft Office files (DOC, PPT, XLS, etc.), PDF, RTF, Plain Text, HTML and iWork docs (Note: It currently only supports iWork ’08, though a Save to that format on your Mac bypasses the issue until that’s addressed). Air Sharing supports OS X (10.4 and 10.5), Windows (both XP and Vista) and Linux.
While you can’t (yet?) edit any of these docs on your mobile device, it’s helpful to view them. I’m hoping it’s only a matter of time before I’m able to edit and share as well. Bottom line: It’s a handy app that’s worth the $4.99.
6) Keynote Remote – $.99
I realize the apps I’ve mentioned have been (comparatively) pricey, so here’s one for 99 cents: Apple’s Keynote Remote. Worth just as much as the others, Keynote Remote is a must-have because of its simplicity and Apple integration. If you have a presentation in—you guessed it, Keynote—you can use your iPhone or iPod touch to control your computer.
Ed and I have a presentation coming up in a couple of weeks that this will be great for…
Note that this app requires iWork ’09.
7) Color Splash – $1.99
Color Splash is just plain cool. The main feature is that it will take your color photos (from the iPhone’s camera or your photo library) and make them black and white… with a twist. It will keep certain elements in full color, all with the sweep of your finger. There are four different brushes to choose from as well as alternate views to ensure accuracy and an unlimited number of ‘undos’.
Additionally, Color Splash supports uploading to Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.
8) Print & Share – $6.99
Print on your iPhone! Print & Share allows printing of emails, files, photos, contacts and web pages right from your phone or iPod touch. Taking advantage of the “shake” technology, Print & Share utilizes it to view or browse in full screen mode. It requires helper software, WePrint, on your computer which is then synced to your device. Added bonus: if you’re traveling, you can put the WePrint software on a flash drive to use with other computers (I’m not sure if this requires a restore of your device, though).
Plus: Check out the companion app, Print, for 99 cents. It’s basically a Lite version that prints Contacts, Photos and web pages only.
9) Bejeweled – $2.99
This is by far the most-used app on my iPhone. I loved this game on my Mac many years ago, and I had forgotten it existed until the launch of the App Store. It has three modes, game preferences, music and an unknown (to me) number of levels. Bejeweled is extremely polished (pardon the pun); it flawlessly (again, sorry) stops and starts again if your game is interrupted by a phone call and saves all games where you left off.
The concept is simple: match jewels to elevate your score and complete levels. Be careful, though—it’s highly addictive. I’ve played multiple games in the process of writing this article (true story).
10) Tetris – $4.99
No Top 10 list is complete without Tetris, and it needs no introduction. The best-selling game in the US has 15 levels, 4 music tracks and 2 modes to go along with your block stacking. Sure, you’ll have to cough up $4.99 for the famous game, but the hours you’ll spend playing will more than make up for it…
Good for: Long car rides, killing time between classes and insomnia.
So there you have it, and for just under $50. Enjoy! Let us know what your favorite apps are; we’ll be reporting soon enough on the iPhone 3.0 software update, which will undoubtedly mean big changes in the App Store as many apps will become obsolete and new ones are introduced.